Impromptu Speech Topics

There's one thing that many students fear the most during their college years - and that is giving a speech in front of the public. Though the panic regarding public speaking is sometimes exaggerated, there are plenty of students who really find it nerve-wracking.

The problem is that even if you don't like speaking in public, there's a huge chance that you'll be asked to do so at some point in your life - and the more prepared for it you'll be, the better it is for you. That's why teachers and professors assign impromptu speeches to students in the first place - and that's why students need to struggle with all those impromptu speech topics: to learn how to speak in public easier, even when you don't have much (or any) time to prepare and polish your speech.

So even if you don't like it, it's important for you to learn how to do it well.

What is an impromptu speech?

An impromptu speech is the one that is based on pure improvisation. In a classroom, you usually have about one to three minutes to prepare such speech and three to five (sometimes to eight) minutes to give one. In real life, you'll have even less time to prepare.

Impromptu speeches are often assigned during certain contests (mostly the one related to debates and speeches in general). Sometimes, however, they are assigned by your professor, and in this case you'll most likely find yourself in one of two options: either you're warned beforehand and have time to come up with your own topics for impromptu speech related to a certain subject - or you aren't warned and need to improvise.

In most cases, it's the first option. Moreover, sometimes it isn't even limited to a certain subject: you can talk about almost anything you want. Of course, funny impromptu speech topics are not always appropriate - just like the controversial ones, but in general, you have more freedom in this case.

But while such impromptu speech might feel freeing, it's also limiting as well. You might not be restricted by the choice of topics - but you're very short of time. When you don't have much time to prepare and to give the speech, this could be extremely stressful - and that's why it's important to practice such speeches at home before delivering them to the audience.

How to come up with good impromptu speech topics?

The topics for impromptu speech might matter more than you think. Coming up with the one that seems interesting and familiar to you will definitely make the whole process easier - however, you should keep in mind that this isn't always the case. Sometimes you might be asked to talk about a less familiar subject or to pick less familiar topics, so it's important for you to practice using both familiar ones and unfamiliar ones.

However, when you do have the option to pick, try choosing the topic that is familiar. Not only this will make it easier to come up with some statements and supporting arguments - this way you'll also feel more confident while speaking to the public. You can also mention some personal experience to support the arguments.

Pay attention to the structure of your speech. Ensure that it has an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. Remember that your organizational skills matter just as much as your speaking ones.

When picking a topic, try to choose the one that isn't too big or complex. Remember that you have only up to five minutes to talk about it.

While an impromptu speech doesn't have a clearly stated goal, usually it should either inform the audience about something or persuade them in something. Therefore, try choosing the topic from one of those categories.

There are plenty of impromptu speech topics for high school and college that you can come up with. Of course, this might not be easy, especially if you don't have any previous experience with it. That's why we've come up with a list of sample topics to inspire you.

  1. What about the future scares me
  2. Is it important to have good manners
  3. Children shouldn't play video games
  4. Why school uniforms are bad for students
  5. What is «normal» and who decides it?
  6. Does real learning happen in the classroom or outside of it
  7. Would I rather be intelligent or wise
  8. How talking with someone differs from talking to someone
  9. Does poor health been in the mind
  10. Is poverty a state of mind
  11. Why I want to grow up
  12. How would I impress someone
  13. Are athletes' salaries justified
  14. Which one of five senses is my favorite
  15. What would I do if I were a president
  16. What is my ideal job
  17. Do people stereotype often
  18. Why do teenagers drink or smoke
  19. What is my first memory
  20. What is my dream job and why do I dream of it
  21. Should we buy real Christmas trees or fake ones
  22. Which is better - cans or bottles
  23. The movie that changed my life
  24. Is violence on TV appropriate
  25. The easiest way to change your life
  26. Should we use our smartphones less
  27. A person that inspires me
  28. Why is college important
  29. How to become famous
  30. Three things I do well

Hopefully, these topics will help you practice giving your impromptu speech or coming up with your own topics to impress the audience. As you probably noticed, some of these are persuasive speech topics while some are more focused on yourself. Consider the audience and the event while choosing among them: if you're going to give such speech to your fellow students, personal topics could be a nice option. For a more serious event, however, persuasive speech topics would probably be more effective and impressive.

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